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The 10-foot rule

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The 10-foot rule
Posted by Rene Schweitzer on Friday, October 17, 2003 8:01 AM
For those of you who don't know, the 10-foot rule is "if it looks good from 10 feet away, it's ok." (Referring to scale of items)

Rene Schweitzer

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, October 17, 2003 6:01 PM
Advancing age and genetics have forced me to be content with the "Ten Foot Rule" in regards not only to modeling but also Shaving!
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Posted by Marty Cozad on Friday, October 17, 2003 10:48 PM
Yes the 10 ft rules adds to realism, how many of photograph 1:1 trains at point blank range? 10 feet away and zoom in makes model photos become more believable.

Is it REAL? or Just 1:29 scale?

Long live Outdoor Model Railroading.

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Posted by vsmith on Sunday, October 19, 2003 10:57 AM
1/2" scale + indoor layout = more like a "2 foot rule". At least for me.

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Posted by jtrost on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 9:34 AM
Fairly new to garden railroading and scratch building, I fear I often stretch beyond 10 feet. Think I need a 20 foot rule. Having gone on the Rose City Garden Railway Society tours for the last couple of years, it seems that one can pretty well toss all the rules. No matter how a railroad is done it is always interesting and every one has ideas that are worthy of incorporating in a railroad. After all, it is all for fun anyway.
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 8:46 PM
To jtrost: I see that you have got the "Message", It is for Fun! Good Luck and Enjoy Garden Rail Roading, otherwise, what's the point?
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 12:48 AM
I admit to being a very forgiving sort when it comes to "look" in the garden. But then, I've never tackled an -N- gauge layout which HAS to require far more attention to detail than I'm probably willing to put into in a garden layout.

I VERY MUCH APPRECIATE the bringing of these skills and that attention to detail to the Garden, and in my humble opinion, would have to say that the indoor "N" and "HO" people are mostly the reigners of detail here, I have not reached that level of LAYOUT enthusiasm yet.

I'm still too busy getting the darn steam engine to run the way I WANT it to, control it with a good RC setup, and get that 1:22.5 Loco to pull that 1:24 consist around the solid laid track bed for longer than 20 minutes or so without having to add water before the boiler runs out of it.

Yeah yeah yeah, we got valves that let us add more water while still up in steam, but I paid a ton 'o bucks for this rivet-counting GORGEOUS steam loco that comes with all the amenities except a way to hual water for longer than a 20 minute run WITHOUT actually STOPPING it's motion to put more in thru the aforementioned valve.

Am I complaining, NOT on your life!

Once I get this problem worked out for THIS particular loco, I guess I'll have to go with something between a 10 and 20 foot rule to make that consist acceptable with the loco scalewise.

Frankly, the whole assembly looks good to me from anywhere from 1 inch out to that infinity where I can't see it any more and getting to old to try. But DARN... you actually CAN count the rivets on the cowcatcher of that loco, and swing the real brass bell to ring it. (You DO have to listen closely tho).

And you have to operate the little steam valve wheel from INSIDE the cab of the loco to get the max speed you want. The little round brass one about 3/8 inch in diameter to open the valve once the boiler is up to pressure as indicated on the pressure gauge next to it, at 3 Kgm/cm2 for proper operating capacity. (The two safety valves prevent it from over pressurizing.)

After all this is done, I stand back at about 5-30 feet, smile and watch it go, and then clean all the excess oil off of the mechanics before I put it away for the night. AFTER I've drained all the leftover DISTILLED water from the certified copper/silver solder boiler that is.

It all looks pretty good to me, but what the heck do I know.

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, October 23, 2003 4:56 PM
The 10 foot rule seems very logical to me. I don't presently enjoy the garden scale, however I may shift to it now that I am retired and have more time. If not for my enjoyment,then who should I worry about? I agree with the others that it is for the fun and the grandkids anyway.
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, October 25, 2003 5:55 PM
The ten foot rule idea is rot. IF your eyesight is still 20/20, you can count scale rivets from ten feet in 1/20.3. You can see every board on a boxcar.
People talk about the ten foot rule, but they mean a myopic ten feet, or an eyes shut ten feet, or an I don't give a cuss ten feet.
Ten feet scales out to 200 feet in reality. You can see a half inch target at 200 feet . You can see if your wife looks angry or unhappy at 200 feet. At 200 yards you can easily recognize a human face.
If you don't care about detail or accuracy, fine, you don't have to, but pretending that detail or scale fidelity is somehow made irrelevant by watching your train run by at long range is just self delusion.
By the way, how can you uncouple cars from ten feet away?
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Posted by d4fal on Sunday, October 26, 2003 12:47 PM
To me, if it looks good at the normal viewing distance and angle, that should be good enough. To get that degree, then I have to get closer to make sure the details are correct. My vision is better than most at a distance, so I require that it be good enough for one quarter the distance that it is normally viewed at. For HO scale, that would be four feet normal, so 1 foot away is the level of super detail. If it is for live steam, and you keep everyone ten feet away, then you need it look good up close, like 30 inches.

Of course, you are your own worst critic. No one else will care as much as you do about your model.
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 8:38 PM
I couldn't agree more with the phrase "you are your own worst critic." My friends and my parents think i'm crazy about trying to make everything look perfect and detailed. And speaking from personal experience, whenever I visit another garden railway, you don't notice all the details but spend more time taking in the enormosity and pure beuty of the project before you.
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 1:34 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by ab1rab

The ten foot rule idea is rot. IF your eyesight is still 20/20, you can count scale rivets from ten feet in 1/20.3. You can see every board on a boxcar.
People talk about the ten foot rule, but they mean a myopic ten feet, or an eyes shut ten feet, or an I don't give a cuss ten feet.
Ten feet scales out to 200 feet in reality. You can see a half inch target at 200 feet . You can see if your wife looks angry or unhappy at 200 feet. At 200 yards you can easily recognize a human face.
If you don't care about detail or accuracy, fine, you don't have to, but pretending that detail or scale fidelity is somehow made irrelevant by watching your train run by at long range is just self delusion.
By the way, how can you uncouple cars from ten feet away?

Nice " introductory post ", ab 1 rab ,...Did you just get here from the Atlas forum, or did you learn your nastiness the old-fashioned way ?
I don't clearly see a half-inch target at 200 feet, or easily recognize a human face at 200 yards...I don't particularly think I'm myopic, but I know who I don't like...and you are the newest member of that exclusive club.
Mike
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Posted by vsmith on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 5:25 PM
Mike, dont be so hard on the guy...

If Ab1rab wants to detail his stuff out the gazoo let him, if seeing stock shiny LGB running with hook and loop couplers gives him ulcers thats his problem, dont make it yours.

and to Ab1rab, you need to chill too. If others on this forum feel fine watching thier shiny out of the box trains from the other side of the yard, let them. They are not trying to recreate reality, they're just having fun.

Thats why they are in the garden with family and friends and not in the basement of the local train club aurguing over who's loco looks most accurate or the latest power struggle for control of thier tiny empire.

I strongly belief there is NO wrong way to do this hobby. Its up to each modeler to determine what level of detail they're happy with and not anyones place on this forum to pee in someone elses cornflakes if they dont like it. That goes for everything from the simpliest oval and a battery powered New-Bright cheese-monster loco right up to the most out of this world so real ya have to blink model railroads, indoors or outdoors. I personally, try to detail my stuff as accurately as I can, but thats ME, not anyone else on this forum or on this planet, and I dont care what anyone thinks about HOW I detail my stuff. If I cant find a reasonable example for a detail, I'll improvise and use whatever example that looks close. But to call people "delusional" because they are happy with the stock nature of their trains is wrong and creates a devisive attitude thats best left to the sour-pusses on the Atlas fourm.

The point is fun, the minute detailing become a "task" and subject to putting down others for not being as rabidly accurate as you are, its time to re-evaluate why are you doing this?

You want from this hobby to be fun, and so does everyone else. So dont be so tough on each other.

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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 8:47 PM
To All-
One good rain storm can turn your super detailed garden railway into a big pile of mud with train track running through it. I think we all should be realistic as to how detailed we should make our outdoor layouts.

Up here in the Northeast my outdoor layout hasn't been used since labor day weekend. I can't see putting to much effort into detail when I can only operate my railroad from May til Aug. Other areas of the country where it is more temperate like Florida and California, certainly have an advantage over most other areas.

I was at a HO club open house last weekend and a 3 foot distance revealed alot of flaws in their super detailed layout. I expected more under the controlled indoor environment. Outdoors has to many variables which we have no control over that make super detailing impossible and foolhardy.

Chances are, visitors to your outdoor G scale layout will have never seen or will not be as "into" trains as you are. Even if they are, you should not be surprised when they tell you how fantastic your garden looks with the train running through it. Anyone who comments negitavely must be an idiot anyway.

The "10 foot Rule" is something that I agree with. Any amount of detail that you place on your railway is meant to be appreciated from afar. Imagine that same visitor tramping into your prized roses or stomping all over your herb garden to get a closer look at your coal tipple. You wouldn't like that to much.

Respectfully
Pete

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, October 30, 2003 1:40 PM
Guys
All I am saying is that if you a looking for detail, you can see it from ten feet. I can.
I can clearly see an LGB coupler at ten feet, or a Kadee coupler, or a link and pin coupler. They do not disappear at ten feet. The loveliest garden railway I ever saw ran stock LGB in factory fresh paint, through gnome gardens etc. It was beautiful. I liked it enough to finally start building my own garden railway.
What impressed me most was that even from ten feet or so, far enough to see a whole train, I could appreciate the detail of it all, and see all the handles and grabirons, and see proper faces on the crew.
Just place your favourite locomotive on a table, measure ten feet, stand there and see how much you can see from that far.
I think the rule is rot, the words. Not the what people originally meant, when the phrase was coined, or what people do to enjoy the hobby. I am not sayng you have to superdetail everything for your trains to be valid, just that if someone does add details to a model, they are still visible at ten feet.
And you still can't uncouple from ten feet.
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Posted by vsmith on Thursday, October 30, 2003 3:07 PM
I think maybe the problem has been a misunderstanding of the 10 foot rule.

I dont believe it refers exclusively to the level of detail visable at 10 feet, but the way each things look in relation to each other. IOW the station looks OK next to the water tower which looks OK next to the the locomotive which looks OK next to the cars on the siding, etc.

I agree that you can see a great deal of detail at 10 feet, the trains are so huge thats undeniable, but I dont think visable level of detail is the whole issue, its more about the relative size of things and how they work next to each other. At 10 feet a 1:29 structure may not look as odd next to a 1:22 train as it would at 2 feet away . same with 1/24 cars near a 1:32 loco.

Those in the garden are often using a mixed bag of objects that may be nowhere near any scale. I've seen alot of birdhouses used out there and if placed creatively, they look fine. Also doing the finescale type thing outdoors is very problematic given the realitive scale of plants in relationship to the trains. Not everyone will want to bonsai every plant in the garden to get that near true to life look. So instead I think the rule refers to "does it look REASONABLE at 10 feet" not, does it look real. If the rule ment "real", almost all outdoor RRs would fail, so why bother. Instead they seek a resemblence of reality and in that regard almost all garden RRs succeed.

And as for uncoupling at ten feet,

That all depends on how accurate you are with a rock....

Hey, you didnt say anything about it being a PRETTY uncoupling...

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, October 30, 2003 6:39 PM
I understand the point about relative sizes, but if you are up close to your railroad, locomotive by your shoulder, say,and the distances to your station is 12", the water tower 24", you can't focus on all 3 at once, so it is very hard to tell discrepancies of scale.
Look back down the train, you can't focus on the length of it all at once, just like the real thing. Run your train, and stay a couple of feet away, and you get all that mass moving, wheels clicking over railjoints-heady stuff.
Stand ten feet from your train, and the locomotive, station and water tower are all in focus, and thing like door sizes start to look odd if they are different. Look back down the train, and for most of us, the 6 car freight starts to look short, and a bit toylike. Run the train, standing ten feet from it, and you see just how small those curves are, just how short the tangents are.You no longer sense the mass of it all. You hear a tinny sort of ticking noise on railjoints.
Whether you are a detailer or not is not the issue, I'm suggesting that getting up close and personal with your trains gives you more from less.

-Ross-
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 4, 2003 2:46 PM
robmik:
I did want to add an answer to your question "How do you uncouple from 10 feet?"

With a Steam loco, first you install RC. This involves the use of servos from the model airplane hobby, and requires two of them. One for the steam valve, (a little wheel that controls pressure induction and therefore speed), and one for the reversing lever. That little handle that resets the valve gear assembly to it's opposite eccentric which makes the loco run backwards. Just like the real thing. Then with a little practice, and a good "uncoupler" track section, you back the consist up to the uncoupler and halt the motion. The uncoupler trips the mechanism under your consist car and the cars to the rear of this are now detached. Reverse the lever again and be on your way.

You can even practice further and get your loco to reverse wheel direction in mid-motion to initiate a "panic stop". You know, get a fast moving loco to come to a quick halt by throwing the reversing lever while still up in steam and watch the drivers spin backwards while the train rolls forward to a very fast halt.

And you can do this from, 5, 10, 20, 30, 40 50 feet away.

I love it.
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Posted by tlnibert on Tuesday, November 4, 2003 7:21 PM
I also believe in the $50 rule. If the car is over $50 I don't buy it. I can buy B brand passenger car at $29, or A, U, L at $70 and above. The 10 foot rule being used, the B brand equals all others at that distance, and B brand has metal wheels, the others don't.
tom
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 5, 2003 9:54 PM
Right on Tom, if a car or loco is two or three times the price of brand B then it should be two or three times the quality---sorry but A,U,L are not that good so I also believe in the $50 rule.

As far as the 10-foot rule goes I don't use it for two reasons. #1 I am building a model railroad that happens to have living plants within its boundaries. My track plan is more like an indoor small scale layout and my scenery is built with wire screen covered with morter cement and rock castings. My track is all hand spiked code 197 rail on redwood ties. I am not a rivet counter and I don't want to imply that my way is better than any other way. The way I am constructing my layout is for my enjoyment and I like to view things close up so I include as much detail as is practical outside. #2 My yard is very small and if I used the 10-foot rule I would end up inside my garage or in the neighbors yard behind a 6' fence.

May all your weeds be wild flowers, OLD DAD
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, November 7, 2003 2:52 PM
tlnibert:

Good point. And it is ironic on the metal wheels part is it not.

I blew $450 for a five car Delton consist to pull behind my nice Aster C&S and they served well in Hawaii for a year, but now that I'm back to the Southwestern Desert, I know I'm going to have to put metal wheels on them eventually due to the track heat.

The idea of buying cheaper cars and bashing them to MY detail sounds better all the time.
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Posted by vsmith on Friday, November 7, 2003 3:57 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by vettbass

robmik:
I did want to add an answer to your question "How do you uncouple from 10 feet?"

With a Steam loco, first you install RC. This involves the use of servos from the model airplane hobby, and requires two of them. One for the steam valve, (a little wheel that controls pressure induction and therefore speed), and one for the reversing lever. That little handle that resets the valve gear assembly to it's opposite eccentric which makes the loco run backwards. Just like the real thing. Then with a little practice, and a good "uncoupler" track section, you back the consist up to the uncoupler and halt the motion. The uncoupler trips the mechanism under your consist car and the cars to the rear of this are now detached. Reverse the lever again and be on your way.

You can even practice further and get your loco to reverse wheel direction in mid-motion to initiate a "panic stop". You know, get a fast moving loco to come to a quick halt by throwing the reversing lever while still up in steam and watch the drivers spin backwards while the train rolls forward to a very fast halt.

And you can do this from, 5, 10, 20, 30, 40 50 feet away.

I love it.


A good sized, well aimed Rock will also do the same....[:D][:D][:D]

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Posted by d4fal on Wednesday, December 10, 2003 6:13 AM
Right now, my baby is too precious for me to rough handle her like that in the previous post, but I would love to see the drivers do that. Maybe, when I get a second loco, and I have more experience driving it, but for now, I'd sooner take it easy.

The ten foot rule does not really apply to you, just to the visitors, or so I would think. You know where every flaw is. The ten foot rule, or standard viewing distance rule, does not apply to you.
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, December 11, 2003 5:40 PM
I'm fairly new to any in-depth participation in the G-Scale hobby, but have had an interest for a long time. The "10 foot rule", is only relevant on a person-by-person basis. We each join a hobby to work on it at a level we enjoy. If we want it to look good at 10 feet or 100 feet, it is each person's choice. I am also into muscle car restoration and I relate this to "daily drivers" vs. "trailer queens". If you want to just restore a car to the level that it will look good enough for you to be satisfied when you drive it, so be it. If you want to never drive it and have everything on it perfect to the day it was manufactured, so be it. We each have our level of satisfaction. If you want to compete, its a different story and then you have to meet the rules.
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Posted by vsmith on Thursday, December 11, 2003 6:23 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by d4fal


"A good sized, well aimed Rock will also do the same....[:D][:D][:D]"


Right now, my baby is too precious for me to rough handle her like that in the previous post,



Thats why New Bright and Echo toy trains were invented, [:D][:D][:D]

There of no other use but for WONTON DESTRUCTION!!!![}:)][:o)][:0][:p][:D][xx(][^]

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Posted by cacole on Friday, December 12, 2003 8:14 AM
This 10 foot rule in G-scale is similar to several others I have heard over the years, such as the 10 minute rule: A project that you think can be completed in 10 minutes will always require 60 minutes or more. And then there's one I have experienced over and over, but I don't know what the rule is -- any project that should require only one or two simple hand tools will eventually require every tool in your toolbox, plus one or two that you don't own yet. It seems that every time I begin to build or repair something, I need practically everything in my two tool boxes, plus some things I don't have. The most irritating of all is to buy a kit of something, regardless of scale, and find out that a part is missing from the package right as I get near the end of the project. I guess that's why the instructions always say to check the contents before you begin construction, but I'm too stupid to follow the instructions. The most recent example of this was an HO scale boxcar -- I got down to the very last step and discovered that one of the screws that fastens the truck was missing. And, naturally, it was a unique size that no other manufacturer uses, so I didn't have an extra one. Have you ever tried to pull a boxcar down the track with only one truck under it?
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Posted by bman36 on Friday, December 12, 2003 1:11 PM
Hey all,
I agree with Deanscamaro. Being into Streetrods as well it all boils down into your intentions. For my railway each part of it will require different handling. For example I will spend much more time laying track as level as possible than I will detailing an outdoor structure. You have to stop somewhere or else be working on it forever. My buildings look nice but are clean and simple. For me let's get to running trains. I think something can look good close up or far away if it is done simply. Have fun everyone. Later eh...Brian.
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, December 26, 2003 2:10 AM
My version of the "10-foot Rule" is called "A man on a galloping horse." It's based on an old Ohio expression: ... could a man on a galloping horse tell the difference?
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Posted by RhB_HJ on Friday, December 26, 2003 5:49 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by robmik

QUOTE: Originally posted by ab1rab

The ten foot rule idea is rot. IF your eyesight is still 20/20, you can count scale rivets from ten feet in 1/20.3. You can see every board on a boxcar.
People talk about the ten foot rule, but they mean a myopic ten feet, or an eyes shut ten feet, or an I don't give a cuss ten feet.
Ten feet scales out to 200 feet in reality. You can see a half inch target at 200 feet . You can see if your wife looks angry or unhappy at 200 feet. At 200 yards you can easily recognize a human face.
If you don't care about detail or accuracy, fine, you don't have to, but pretending that detail or scale fidelity is somehow made irrelevant by watching your train run by at long range is just self delusion.
By the way, how can you uncouple cars from ten feet away?

Nice " introductory post ", ab 1 rab ,...Did you just get here from the Atlas forum, or did you learn your nastiness the old-fashioned way ?
I don't clearly see a half-inch target at 200 feet, or easily recognize a human face at 200 yards...I don't particularly think I'm myopic, but I know who I don't like...and you are the newest member of that exclusive club.
Mike



Hey Mike,

Seems to me the man made a lucid case for his perspective (no pun intended)!
I always like to refer to Large Scale as the size where even half-blind people can be rivet counters.

As for the 10 foot rule, as mentioned the only "sins" it is able to cover is the tendency of people hoping that the next person won't notice the discrepancy.
To prove that point all you need do is take a picture from ten feet with a standard 50mm lens and then tell me that you can't see the 1:18 automobile in front of the 1:24 house which has a 1:20 figure on the balcony and the train running 2 feet in front of the house is 1:29.
Of course many of us don't need a camera for that, we've been scale modelling for long enough that we can see the "something's funny with this picture" even from 20ft.

BTW there's never a need to get personal! Who really cares where each of us learned how to look at things? If the above scenario looks OK to you, great.
Cheers HJ http://www.rhb-grischun.ca/ http://www.easternmountainmodels.com

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